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Imagination teaching course on mobile graphics

Teaching materials and hands-on exercises with PowerVR GPUs

Posted: By Jon Peddie 12.04.19

Imagination Technologies announced its course on mobile graphics for undergraduate teaching as part of its Imagination University Programme (IUP). “An Introduction to Mobile Graphics Edition” includes a set of teaching materials and practical exercises that leverage Imagination’s popular PowerVR graphics processor units (GPUs).

In universities, graphics technologies are often taught as part of the game development or computer science curricula and are based on standard console or PC graphics. Since consumers increasingly interact with graphics on their mobile devices via games and user interfaces (UIs), it’s important developers understand the specific constraints of mobile devices where power-efficient rendering is vital.

Robert Owen, Director, Worldwide University Programme, Imagination Technologies, says: “Our program brings leading-edge technologies into the classroom in packages that are genuinely useful to teachers, and exciting for their students. This unique course enables teachers to align with the reality of users today, who often experience graphics through mobile devices incorporating an Imagination PowerVR GPU.”

The course has been developed in so that little or no previous knowledge of graphics is required, and the content is adaptable to fit most teaching methods and structures. Various modules cover mobile graphics technologies and their architectures; the PowerVR framework for mobile graphics development; mobile graphics software development kits (SDKs); texturing; transformations and example shader code including lighting models.

The 2019 Edition brings support for OpenGL ES up to version 3.2 and adds examples using Vulkan. In addition, the course includes lecture slides with integrated presenter notes, practical exercises including model solutions, and example exam questions and answers. The practical exercises use the PowerVR OpenGL ES emulator, a Chromebook, or the popular embedded platform, the BeagleBone Black. Examples of mobile games and technology demonstrations give students an intuitive idea of the capabilities of the mobile GPU.

These materials have been developed in conjunction with Darren McKie, lecturer, and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Department of Computer Science and Technology at The University of Hull. Says McKie: “There are 3.3 billion smartphone device users worldwide, and around half of the global games market came from mobile games. There is an amazing opportunity for mobile games developers, and this new course enables students to seize this opportunity. They will learn how to engineer, code and optimize rendering applications, enabling them to create games that can do many things, whilst enabling users to play games for longer periods through lower power consumption.”

Imagination’s PowerVR GPUs are the de facto standard for mobile and embedded graphics and GPU compute. The PowerVR family leads the market in technological capability, roadmap breadth and ecosystem, and is used in many of the industry’s most popular smartphones, tablets, and other consumer devices.

Accessing the ‘Introduction to Mobile Graphics’ course

An Introduction to Mobile Graphics 2020 Edition course materials will be available for download from the Imagination University Programme website in March 2020. Interested students and teachers should visit Imagination University Programme to register for the IUP and will be notified when downloads open.

About the Imagination University Program

The Imagination University Program (IUP) provides practical help to teachers around the world so that they can use Imagination’s technologies in courses and student projects. The focus is on providing the four vital elements needed to teach a course: a suitable hardware platform at a reasonable price, free software development tools, effective technical support, and excellent teaching materials that serve genuine teaching needs. The IUP is open to all members of academia, see Imagination University Programme